More needs to be done to help mothers-to-be and new mothers speak about their mental health during or after their pregnancies, Penge's MP has urged.

Labour's Ellie Reeves, who is eight months pregnant with her second child, shared her own story about struggling with pre-natal depression while she was pregnant with her first child.

The Lewisham West and Penge MP cited figures from NCT (National Childbirth Trust) which showed half of women face mental health or emotional difficulties at some time during their pregnancy or in the year after their birth.

During a debate on women's mental health, Ms Reeves told MPs she "didn't know how to ask for help" last time around but this time has been able to reach out.

She added: "Many women are reluctant to admit having difficulties.

"Society tells us that being pregnant and having a baby should a wonderful, joyous time, but the reality for many can feel quite different.

"So all too often women don't discuss their problems because they feel embarrassed, ashamed or worried that the health professionals would think that they're not capable of looking after their baby.

"I think it is important to say now that I was one of those women. With my first son, I suffered from prenatal depression which led to an exacerbation of anxiety and OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder).

"At the time I didn't have enough knowledge of the condition to do anything about it.

"It isn't something that is talked about and so I didn't know how to ask for help.

"This time around I've been able to spot the triggers and therefore deal with any problems before they have escalated.

"I also had the confidence to tell my GP of my past history, who was then able to give me some options.

"At times, preventing the onset of prenatal depression this time round has felt like a daily battle. It is one that I am pleased to say I have won.

"But for too many new mums their mental health difficulties remain hidden."